[M.M.X.I.V. 349] Conservation of difficulty

This term I originally heard when in my ESAM 411-2 class.  Prof.  Kath described a couple of methods for solving partial differential equations, and mentioned that the difference between two techniques was “conservation of difficulty.”

However, I didn’t want to write about academia today.  Rather, I rode my bike yesterday in place of a bus in order to get to League yesterday.  This route is about 3.5 miles on an arterial road in Chicago.

On the way TO League, I had to fight a mostly-headwind.  It was not completely against me, but mostly against me.  However, maybe to throw me a bone, I managed to mostly avoid having to stop for red lights.

You can guess where this is going.  After I finished with League and rode back toward the train station, I hit almost every red light, which led to an annoying ride, even though the wind was with me.

If I had to choose, in the city, between headwind but no red lights or tailwind and all red lights, I would actually choose the headwind with no red lights.  I like to keep moving when riding my bike, and sometimes I feel that the stop-and-go patterns can be tough on my knees.

What is your biggest annoyance on the road, whether it be on bike or in a vehicle?


Today is the three-hundred and forty-ninth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes forty-nine weeks and six days.

Today is the three-hundred and fifty-first day of Mission 441.  Ninety days remain.


4 thoughts on “[M.M.X.I.V. 349] Conservation of difficulty

  1. Very good question, Noah – and my answer would have to be aggressive and thoughtless drivers! People who drive too fast, don’t signal, have long conversations on the mobile phone (whilst driving at 70mph), cut across lanes without so much as a ‘By your leave’ – and generally behave as if the road had been designed and created for their express convenience!


    • Aggressive and thoughtless drivers are definitely bad news–both of my car crashes have been when I have gotten victimised by inattentive driving.

      They need to go back to primary school to learn about “sharing.”


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